After several difficult seasons Fabrice Lapierre returned to the big time in 2015 by winning men's long jump silver at the Beijing World Championships. The experienced Aussie shares the wisdom he has learned during his career.
1. Trust the coach
“You won’t get anywhere unless you totally trust what your coach is telling you. Even when your coach might be telling you something which might look or sound weird, it is important to follow their advice because in the end it will make you a better jumper.
“I have had occasions in the past when I have not trusted my coach. I remember when I first arrived in the US and my coach during my first year there would make us run a lot. I never really understood why he made us do that. One session he made us do 10x400m, which I didn't really complete.
“I'm with a great coach at the moment in Dan Pfaff, and I totally trust him. Some of what he tells me might not make sense straight away, but I know in the long run it will help me technically and it will make me jump further.”
In 2010 Lapierre won gold at the Doha World Indoor Championships and Delhi Commonwealth Games
2. Never stop believing
“It is impossible to be on top and riding high all the time in athletics. You will have harder times and you need to stick at it and keep trying during these spells.
“I was having a great time in 2009 and 2010 – on top of the world . I don't know, I may have got complacent, but I had some bad years that followed when I picked up injuries and started to doubt myself.
“Yet I stuck in there, kept believing and this year the results have finally come.”
Lapierre Parker by day, Spider-Man by night
3. Find the right balance
“Track and field is a lonely sport, and as I am not the type of person who thinks about track and field 24 hours a day, I need to find time to have fun away from the sport.
“I have a number of other interests and I like to make sure I give myself time to go to the driving range, watch a movie or just hang out with friends to eat and relax. When I'm competing on the European circuit I always try and find the time to get out of the hotel and see something of the city when I'm there.
“For me, to get the best out of myself I need to find the right balance between sport and everyday life.”